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MAF’S YOUNGEST PILOT WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS SUMMER?!

2 TORN COUNTRY

SOUTH SUDAN - A WAR

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WHEN MAF Y O U T H M E T //

Dan n y G i l l

y t e f a s g n Seeki

Photos Dave Forney

Wedged between two war-torn countries, it’s quite normal to find refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan searching for safety in Uganda The Adjumani District sits in the north of Uganda and is often the first port of call for traumatised people fleeing conflict – particularly those from South Sudan. Because of the war that broke out in 2013, over 2 million people have lost their homes in South Sudan, with the number continuing to climb. For many of these hurting people, ‘home’ has become a settlement in the refugee camps around Adjumani.

A helping hand The road in and out of Adjumani takes time to reach and is difficult for organisations delivering aid and support. Fortunately, last year we helped open an airstrip in Adjumani to provide easier access for our many partners. ‘We can come from Kampala [the capital] without disrupting the programme,’ says War Child Canada representative Dreeni Geer. ‘We can take visitors there quickly without an eight-hour drive. We’ve had plenty of mishaps on the road [but] hope to be using MAF regularly in the future.’

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By doing what we do best – flying – we have been able to make the work of partners such as UNICEF, Tutapona, Ox Fund, World Trust, Save the Children and many others much easier – enabling them to help more refugees. In the early days, we flew in and out of Adjumani every day, but now the camps have become better managed and are full, we fly there once a week.

Well, I’ve been working for MAF for 2½ years and I’m a pilot in Arnhem Land.

Where is Arnhem Land? Arnhem Land is at the top of the Northern Territories of Australia, east of Darwin.

Serving the world’s largest refugee camp With Adjumani now filled to capacity, people seeking refuge are having to look elsewhere – with new camps emerging as a result. Bidibidi refugee camp, one of the newer settlements we’ve been serving by using Moyo airstrip, is just north of Adjumani. It’s the world’s largest refugee camp to date – giving shelter to well over 250,000 people. That’s 50,000 more than Adjumani!

Overwhelming We can look at these numbers and feel overwhelmed by the need, but the Adjumani camp serves as a reminder that – with enough people to help – many, many refugees can be supported. It gives us hope for the many others seeking safety.

Top right // MAF partner Tutapona staff carrying out an ‘Empower Program’ in the Adjumani refugee camp. Right // Kids of Adjumani camp

How long have you w o r k e d f o r M A F, a n d what do you do?

stand and I thought it was really cool. I wanted to serve God, loved aviation, and wanted to work in remote communities – and that was exactly what MAF did. It was pretty easy for me!

What does a typical day look like for you? I get up at about 6am and start work at 7.30. We’ll have some devotions with the team. Then I do my daily aircraft inspection and make sure I’ve got fuel, know what passengers I’m getting, then I’ll basically be on the go all day, doing flights. I’ll have a bit of a lunch break if I’m lucky and we’ll keep going until 5-5.30pm.

What is the most interesting cargo you’ve transported? How did God call you to MAF? It all started when I was a kid. I was born in Nepal. My parents were missionaries there and I grew up in remote villages and just thought, ‘Yeah, this is awesome’. We got to help people in remote communities. We got to do stuff that impacted their physical lives by building schools and hospitals. When I was about 11, I saw an MAF

Santa Claus was probably up there. I’ve also carried some eagles, some turtle eggs and several cats.

What do you do in your spare time? Usually I just hang out with my friends. You can get out and enjoy the beaches and the bush. I like playing sport – a bit of football and rugby. Playing and listening to music.

I like to take naps, long walks on the beach and drink piña coladas.

What home comforts do you miss the most? I think it’s my mother’s Irish stew. I miss cinemas (we don’t have cinemas in Arnhem Land), and Guinness.

Describe yourself in three words Rambunctious. Pensive. Danny.

What’s your favourite food in the country you serve? Kangaroo steak’s alright, but what else is there in Australia? Barramundi – that’s a good fish.

Favourite Bible verse? I do like the one that’s on my prayer card from Acts… which I’ve forgotten. I also like Hebrews 12, which is basically about encouraging each other.

What song gets you in the mood for flying? Oooh, that’s a good one. Top Gun! It’s got to be ‘Highway to the Danger Zone’. [Danny begins to sing ‘Highway to the Danger Zone’ – priceless!]

We loved catching up with Danny for this interview! Please pray for him as he soon transfers to MAF South Sudan. 3


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Please pray that the refugees in Uganda would find safety and security. Pray also for our MAF programme and other organisations in Uganda as they continue to support the growing refugee camps.

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LADIES AT THE WATER PUMP IN ADJUMANI REFUGEE CAMP // UGANDA

PHOTO DAVE FORNEY

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Photos LuAnne Cadd Until 2003, Liberia was ravaged by a civil war that lasted 14 years. Since then, this fragile country has continued to struggle under the weight of immense poverty. But despite the difficulties of living in Liberia, amazing things are happening!

Sister Wilhelmena

t a b r e v o A pr work Liberia is not only recovering from an Ebola epidemic but has a history of struggle and conflict

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Sister Wilhelmena is a woman full of passion and joy. A nurse and social worker, she is also part of Sisters of the Holy Family – an MAF partner working in Cape Palmas. The Holy Family is there to help support families through their work in hospitals, schools and the wider community. The famous Chinese proverb, ‘You give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’, came to mind when Sister Wilhelmena wondered what she could do to ease the poverty surrounding her. In response, she started PIAP – the People’s Initiative Against Poverty!

PIAP The project, which began in 2012, seeks to empower and teach young people how to grow crops – enabling them to take vital steps towards being

' Y ou g ive a man a f is h an d y ou f e e d . h im f o r a day o Teac h a man t f is h an d y ou f e e d h im f o r a l if e t im e '

able to support themselves. On a Saturday, you’ll find Sister Wilhelmena surrounded by young people, digging in the lush green fields near Holy Family’s convent. Thanks to PIAP, educational scholarships have been funded using some of the money made by the project. A number of kids have now completed primary or secondary school, with three students now off to university! Incredible, eh?

How does MAF help? The PIAP project works in a region that’s extremely isolated. For it to run successfully, those responsible need to purchase supplies, do their banking and attend meetings in Monrovia, the capital. ‘To reach Monrovia by road takes two days,’ says Sister Wilhelmena. ‘If the roads are bad, sometimes it’s about a week. On the plane, it takes only 1½ hours. MAF’s presence in Liberia has brought great relief.’ It’s a massive privilege to be able to help Sister Wilhelmena and PIAP and we can’t wait to see how God will grow this successful project as it continues to flourish!

Main // MAF Pilot Emil Kundig, Sister Wilhelmena and Margrit Kundig Above // Young people in the fields outside the Holy Family convent Left // Sister Wilhelmena with a group of her young farmers

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l l a W H t u MAf Y SumMer u p Dat e

CompeTiOn WiNner

EMILY ROSE CongratulAtions!

We have been out on the road this year, hitting youth groups across the UK – bringing the adventures of the mission field to life and, as always, leaving a trail of paper planes behind us!

Soul surviVor We’re back and bigger than ever! Come and visit our stand to win daily competitions and attempt to land our plane on the new simulator – you might just win a flight if you’re quick enough!

Did you see us at Big Church Day Out? This year we challenged the nation to attempt The MAF Rescue Challenge. Each team had to complete a series of exciting tasks in order to save a boy who had been bitten by a death adder snake and needed a timely rescue! Once finished, each team landed the plane on our brand new flight simulator, while flying in the extremely challenging mountains of Papua New Guinea.

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T op 5

w e ir d e s t carg o 1 Blood 2 Chimpanzees 3 Eyeballs 4 Coffins 5 Indiana Jones

(Harrison Ford!) 11


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MAF’S YOUNGEST PILOT WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS SUMMER?!

2 TORN COUNTRY

SOUTH SUDAN - A WAR

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Search ‘MAF Youth’ W maf-uk.org/youth E youth@maf-uk.org

MAF Youth Magazine #10  
MAF Youth Magazine #10